Hoka’s two premier stability shoes; today, we’ll be comparing the HOKA Gaviota vs Arahi. Based on the brand’s top two selling neutral running shoes, the Bondi and Clifton, their stability versions incorporate all the features that make each of these shoes great and provide the proper correction to keep your feet running straight.
One offers almost the maximum cushion you can get from a runner, while the other is slightly slimmed down with a bit less support. There is a lot to love about both of these models, but which one is the right choice for you? Let’s find out with specs, images, and breakdowns for each model below.
HOKA Gaviota vs Arahi
- The Hoka Arahi and Gaviota are stability running shoes. Meant to help prevent supination and inward roll when running.
- Both feature Hoka’s J-Frame. Which is what provides the added support while running.
- The Hoka Gaviota is the heavier and more cushion volume of the two models. Weighing 10.9 oz compared to the Arahi at 9.3 oz.
- The Gaviota also has more Cushion and is listed as “plush” by Hoka. While the Arahi is listed as “balanced” with still a good amount of cushion.
- They have different drops with the Arahi featuring a slightly more modest 5mm drop. Compared to a 6 mm drop featrured on the Gaviota.
- The Arahi has less arch support than the Gaviota. Making it more suitable for medium and lower arches.
- Hoka’s Gaviota is modeled off of the popular Bondi. Making it a good choice for heavier runners.
- While the Arahi is modeled off of the Clifton. The brand’s most popular road running shoe.
Once you know you’re in the market for a support running shoe, Hoka is a great brand to consider. They are one of the fastest-growing brands in running and have based their support line directly on their top-selling neutral running shoes. However, there are some key differences when comparing the HOKA Gaviota vs. Arahi.
The Hoka Gaviota is based on the design of the Hoka Bondi, with added J-frame technology to help prevent supination and inward rotation. One of the first things you will notice is the weight of the shoes. They (both Gaviota and Bondi) are the most cushioned running shoes in Hoka’s lineup, and with the added support, the Gaviota weighs a bit more.
Once on your feet, you can feel all of the cushion right away. Like with all Hoka shoes, this will break in over the first couple of runs, becoming soft for the perfect landing cushion. One thing you will notice is that the Gaviota does have a bit of added arch support. I have a low/medium arch, so to me, it’s noticeable, but I have friends that love this high arch support. They run true to size or maybe even run a bit large.
On the road, the Gaviota can feel a bit stiff and tall at first. As mentioned above, this will change once they break in, typically around 5-10 miles, and they will start to feel great. Besides that, you do notice the weight a bit at first too, but this tends to disappear after a run or two as well, once your body can adapt. After that, the 5mm drop is a joy to run in, and they have a ton of cushioning.
With all of that said, if you’re looking for a highly cushioned support shoe, the Gaviota delivers. The support added by Hoka is just enough to keep your foot going straight without feeling forced, and they are a great shoe to run in.
The Hoka Arahi clearly gets its influence from one of the brand’s most popular road running shoes, the Clifton, fitted with the same J-Frame technology as the Gaviota. The midsized, mid-cushioned runner feels a little heavy if you’re coming from another brand, but they are still noticeably lighter than the Gaviota.
They are roomy with plenty of space in the toe box, without running too big, maybe running a ¼ size large. Combined with the modest arch support and above-average cushion, they make for a comfortable shoe to walk/stand in, popular among people who have jobs standing all day.
Hitting the streets in Arahi was an absolute joy. Once the cushion breaks in, they feel comfy but responsive and even somewhat fast. I’m a big fan of the 5mm drop on both of these shoes and feel like the Arahi would make a great marathon racer or daily trainer logging some big miles.
My biggest issue with the Arahi is the same issue I have with the Cliftons and many other Hoka shoes. While there is no question the upper construction is quality, the soles of these shoes have a reputation for not lasting as many miles as other shoe brands. I do find when my running form starts to slip late in runs, those areas of the shoe wear out very quickly, and I’m lucky to get 250+ miles out of a pair.
HOKA Gaviota Profile
Hoka Arahi Profile
From above you can also see the added cushion around the heel of the Gaviota.
Gaviota Top View
Arahi Top View
From the bottom the shoes look very similar. The Arahi is just slightly slimmer with less landing surface.
HOKA Gaviota Soles
Hoka Arahi Soles
Conclusion – HOKA Gaviota vs Arahi
Hoka offers runners two great options for support road running shoes. So it’s understandable that a lot of people find themselves comparing the HOKA Gaviota vs. Arahi. Both have more than enough going for them to be the right choice. But which would I choose?
Which road running shoe to buy?
I’m a big fan of both of these shoes. And for me, the choice comes down to two things: the weight of the shoe and the proper arch support for my feet. And that’s Arahi. It’s the lighter of the two shoes and still has plenty of padding. The arch is lower, which works better for me for long distances and logging a lot of training miles. So again, I’m going with the Arahi.
That said, if you’re a runner over 190 lbs+, the Gaviota’s extra cushioning will come in handy, making the extra weight negligible when it comes to the added benefit of how much it will save your knees.